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  • 1 Post By sciencegal
  • 1 Post By Jx3

dividing encyclias in general

This is a discussion on dividing encyclias in general within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; I posted in another thread about rotting pseudobulbs in encyclias so this is related to ...

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  1. #1
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    Default dividing encyclias in general

    I posted in another thread about rotting pseudobulbs in encyclias so this is related to that. I have three or four different kinds that are large older specimens that I wonder if I should divide.

    Three days ago I decided to tear apart a cordigera 'alba' which was in a 10 inch pot because it was losing leaves like crazy. They would turn yellow over night and I was getting a new yellow one or two every day. I took it out of the pot and the roots were short and mostly rotten in the middle of the plant. I made 8 smaller plants with 2 to 3 pseudobulbs including a new growth for each. Since there was so much root rot I sprayed them liberally with hydrogen peroxide, let them dry bare-root overnight, then sprayed again the next day. The remaining roots looked nice and healthy although there weren't many of them. I potted seven of them in small pots with a moss/perlite mixture and mounted one.

    I was reading about dividing encyclias and one source said that they "can" be divided after 2 or 3 years but I guess my question would be, is it more like a necessity in order to prevent the center of the plant from rotting. I also read this morning that Tolumnias shouldn't be allowed to get large for that very reason.

    This ionophlebia is starting to look a bit pale. I see a few new growths around the outside edge but only maybe one or two sheaths. There are rooted growths laying on top of the whole thing. I decided to divide it.

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    My concern mostly is this cochleata which is the one that had a rotten pb in the center. I cut it out and put a liberal amount of cinnamon on the cut area. It has flower sheaths forming and some new growths popping out. Would it be better to risk losing potential blossoms by dividing now in order to not risk losing the whole plant to rot? I read that cochleata will continue to bloom almost continually once it gets started so would this be as good a time as any to divide into two or three plants? I'm thinking of leaving it unless I see anymore rotting in the center but on the other hand I kind of want to divide it. It looks healthy otherwise.

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    Last edited by sciencegal; December 13th, 2015 at 02:58 PM.

  2. #2
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    I wonder if that cordigera 'alba' that you divided didn't get the bark cleaned out well enough in the previous repot that it went thru and that center bark had broken down long before the rest of the bark?

    Anyway, I think the cochleata would be OK and I bet dividing won't stop the bloom. I could be wrong but if you are worried about it surviving, then I would do it.

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    Default

    The alba kind of came that way. I put it in a new pot with new bark when I first got it, cleaning out the old bark which was pretty broken down. There were a few pieces of old bark still up in the center so that could have contributed to the rot. But it was getting worse. It's roots were only about an inch long from the beginning and then I think I was watering too much which didn't help the matter out much. Because it was so large I put it in a big pot so it was also deep. The bark all the way through was too wet. I've learned that encyclia do not like that. I think they small divisions are going to be much happier and if I lose a few I still have more.

    I may have to do some bartering later on with this ionophlebia (mistakenly called it a prismatocarpa which has its own issues). I can see ending up with a dozen or more divisions.
    Last edited by sciencegal; December 13th, 2015 at 02:59 PM.

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    To save the plant from further rotting I would repot now, if you loose a few blooms that is better then loosing the plant! If it ends up blooming then all the better for you.

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    I went ahead and tore apart the cochleata. Glad I did. It was a mass of dead roots and tiny rotting pbs in the middle. Lots of decayed debris all around. It is now all cleaned up, down to 3 good sized plants, 1 smaller and 1 tiny plant. I will tackle the ionophlebia tomorrow. It will be a bigger project.

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    Sounds like everything you are doing is fine. The broken down media would definitely be the reason for the rot both in the roots and bulbs. I have a few encyclias and grow them in a very very open mix in clay pots. In my opinion plastic pots hold too much moisture for encyclias unless you are very careful with watering. Best way to get them to grow robust roots quickly would be to water very very lightly for the first few weeks.

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